Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: June 21, 2016

Special Feature

Community Perspectives on the BC Coastal Forest Industry

Truck Loggers Association
June 20, 2016
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Community leaders are not as optimistic as they once were about the coastal forest industry, and most feel the industry is in worse shape now than it was just over a decade ago. Not surprisingly, mayors are concerned about job loss and the economic impact on coastal towns and cities. These are just a few of the findings from an extensive study measuring the pulse and perspectives of coastal communities undertaken by The Truck Loggers Association, which represents independent timber harvesting contractors working on BC’s coast.  

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Business & Politics

Update by Canada and the United States on softwood lumber

Government of Canada
June 17, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

The Honourable Michael Froman, United States Trade Representative, and the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s Minister of International Trade, today made the following statement to update on the status of negotiations toward a new softwood lumber agreement between Canada and the United States: “The softwood lumber industry is important for both the U.S. and Canadian economies. It supports thousands of jobs in both countries, downstream benefits in related industries and services, such as a sustainable housing industry, and economic prosperity in many of our communities. “At the direction of President Obama and Prime Minister Trudeau, U.S. and Canadian officials have been meeting intensively on softwood lumber in government-to-government sessions, in meetings with stakeholders, through dialogue with members of our legislatures and state and provincial governments and with respective producers and other stakeholders.

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“Significant differences” remain in softwood lumber dispute

By Colin Dacre
MY PG NOW
June 20, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

“Significant differences” remain between Canada and the United States on the softwood lumber file. Canada Minister of Trade Chrystia Freeland and US Trade Representative Michael Froman have issued a joint statement on negotiations between the two sides. The statement says officials have been meeting “intensively” in government to government sessions and with stakeholders and provincial and state governments. “While significant differences remain between us, this period of intensive engagement has helped define shared goals and explore options for several key components of any new agreement. Following this initial 100 days of intensive engagement, the United States and Canada have made significant advances in exploring the key issues and priorities.”

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Top 100 public companies list shows banner 2015 for forestry companies

By Glen Korstrom – U.S. acquisitions, softwood lumber deal expiry boosted revenue
Business in Vancouver
June 21, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Business in Vancouver’s 2016 list of the top 100 public companies in B.C. reveals the stellar year enjoyed by the province’s forestry companies in 2015. Each of the 11 companies on the list that generated sales from producing lumber, pulp, paper or finished wood products saw an increase in revenue in 2015 compared with the previous year. …West Fraser, for example, increased sales 6.3% and moved up to No. 5 on the list, compared with No. 6 last year. Canfor Corp. did even better. It increased sales 17.3% and moved up three spots on the list to No. 6 this year compared with last year’s ranking.

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Canfor fined for high dust accumulation

Prince George Citizen
June 20, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

WorkSafeBC has levied a $15,000 fine against Canadian Forest Products Ltd. after hazardous accumulations of potentially-combustible dust were found in several areas at its Vanderhoof sawmill, according to a posting on the agency’s website. “WorkSafeBC’s investigation found that the firm was not effectively implementing its combustible dust management program,” the agency said in the posting. “Therefore, the firm failed to ensure the health and safety of its own and other workers at its workplace.” Canfor is appealing the penalty, which was issued in January. END OF STORY

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Province completes recommendations from work safety report

My Prince George Now
June 19, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The province says it has completed all 43 recommendations of the Macatee Report. Following the explosions of Lakeland Mills and Babine Forest Products, Gordon Macatee was tasked with creating a report aimed at improving worker safety in BC. Labour Minister Shirley Bond says they’ve now implemented all of the reports recommendations. “But I can also assure people that, that work and being vigilant about dust in mills across the province will continue and we will continue to make sure WorkSafe makes this work a priority.” She says changes include stronger enforcement tools and investigation protocol and well as increased fines for non-compliance.

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Quebec-based companies announce creation of consortium to build upon current success

FPInnovations
June 20, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

FPInnovations’ PIT Group, a not-for-profit engineering and research centre for the North American trucking industry, and its partners PRECICAD inc., a product development specialist, and KARGO, an electric vehicle manufacturer, today announced they have formed a consortium called movera to develop, custom-manufacture and market innovative, iconic electric compact passenger vehicles. The group officially launched the alliance during EVS29, the world’s largest international electric vehicle conference, at the Palais des congrès de Montréal, where an example of one of the company’s current manufacturing products, a compact transit system vehicle for Calgary International Airport, is on display.

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US, Canada fail to reach softwood lumber deal

By Kim Slowey
Construction Dive
June 20, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

NAHB CEO Jerry Howard told the ENR that the association would like to see free trade between the two countries and that the same negotiation “fits and starts” resulted in a “disadvantageous” agreement for American consumers, as well as lumber price spikes, 10 years ago.  Under the existing agreement, the U.S. stopped “antidumping and countervailing” duties on Canadian lumber exports into the country and gave back approximately 75% of the $5.3 billion in duties collected from Canada since 2002. When prices of softwood lumber — which is a vital product in residential construction — fell below certain benchmarks, Canada agreed to impose charges and set limits on what it sent to the U.S.

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Frenchtown mill owner guilty of failing to clean Canadian pulp plant

by Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
June 20, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

The company owner responsible for cleaning and redeveloping Frenchtown’s former pulp mill has been convicted of failing to complete a similar project in Canada, and will be sentenced Tuesday. CBC News reported Monday that a Canadian provincial court found Bathurst Redevelopment Inc. was guilty of violating the Clean Environment Act for its inaction at the former Smurfit-Stone Container pulp mill in Bathurst, New Brunswick. The conviction carries up to $1 million in fines. Bathurst Redevelopment Inc. is a Canadian subsidiary of Green Investment Group, the same Illinois-based corporation that created M2Green, which is the lead party responsible for Frenchtown’s former Smurfit-Stone mill site.

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Austrian sawmilling industry’s output up 5% in 2015

EUWID Wood Products and Panels
June 20, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Austrian sawmilling companies produced a total of 8.87m m³ of softwood lumber last year; roughly 4% more than a year earlier. According to the “2015/2016 Industry Report” presented by the Austrian Timber Industry Association on 2 June, roughly 97.9% of the total output was accounted for by softwood lumber assortments at 8.68m m³, 8.04m m³ or 92.6% of which comprised spruce/fir. The value of the softwood lumber output rose less sharply by +2% to €1.610bn. The output of softwood lumber also gave rise to 19.46m m³ of sawmill residues worth a total of €286m, which equates to an increase of 2% and 1% respectively against the year before. END OF STORY

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Softwood imports to Italy 2015 1% down

IHB
June 20, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Italian softwood imports fell 1% overall in 2015, with a 3% decrease from lead supplier Austria offset by upturns from Finland, France and Latvia as the ETTF (European Timber Trade Federation reports in its latest newsletter. Non-EU suppliers’ import share was under 12%, with rises from Bosnia and Belarus, but shrinkage from Russia. Analyst Istat reported laminated timber imports were stable, with decreases from some suppliers, but a 3% upturn from Austria. However export data from Austria seems at odds with this, showing a 9% fall. Tropical timber imports were static overall, despite a 30% fall from Gabon. But the total of 160,000m3 was still 240,000m3 lower than pre-crisis levels. Temperate sawn hardwoods were 4% down.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Canada’s Tallest Wood Tower Tests Building Codes

Builder Magazine
June 20, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

A new building is at the University of British Columbia campus in Vancouver, B.C., is intended to show developers and the public that wood can be equally as effective as steel or concrete, better for the environment and support the country’s forestry industry. The 18-story Brock Commons building, which costs 8% more than traditional steel and concrete buildings, will house 404 students and serve as a test case for high-rise wood buildings, reports Global News. Designers, engineers and the university purposefully chose a simple design with repetitive floor plans in order to gain special approval from building code authorities. National building code regulations currently limit wood structures to four stories. However, with new research and engineering, some provinces have allowed architects to push the boundaries.

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Beaming with pride

Castanet
June 18, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

A leading edge company in the South Okanagan celebrated the construction of two record-breaking projects at an event Friday in Okanagan Falls. Structurlam staff, architects, area dignitaries and community members all gathered at the company’s south plant to sign the final beam and panel of the projects. “We have done a lot of iconic buildings over the years but today we are celebrating two world-class structures, the Rocky Ridge Recreation Facility in Calgary and UBC Brock Commons in Vancouver,” said Structurlam president Bill Downing. “I’ve spent my entire career in the wood product industry and this is one of the most exciting days of my life. It’s a real South Okanagan success story as well as a B.C. success story.”

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Industry awaits impacts of the Waste-Free Ontario Act

By Mary Baxter
Daily Commercial News
June 20, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ontario’s building industry will have to wait until late summer or early fall before it obtains clarity on how the province’s newly minted Waste-Free Ontario Act will affect construction activity. The Act, which received Royal Assent June 9, requires producers, such as manufacturers, to be fully responsible for their products and packaging at the products’ end of life and establishes the framework to introduce the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority, described in a Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change news release as “a strong oversight body with new compliance and enforcement powers.”

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Origine aims high with sustainable building

Calgary Sun
June 18, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Quebec City will be home to the tallest wood condominium-apartment tower in Nortn America, a project that will be watched by Calgary-area developers. … The project is a collaboration of the Government of Canada, the Quebec government, the Ville de Québec and many research partners, including FPInnovations and is the first major project in a promising new industry that can meet demand for sustainable buildings. Origine was selected by Natural Resources Canada to receive $1.175 million in funding under the Tall Wood Building Demonstration Initiative, a federal program that helps to cover some of the additional construction costs of such buildings, including research and development projects.

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Will Skyscrapers of the Future Be Built From Wood?

By Natasha Geiling
Smithsonian
June 20, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

New York City is home to some of the most famous skyscrapers in the world, from the Chrysler Building to the Empire State Building—structures of concrete and steel that, when built, seemed to defy both the bounds of human innovation and the laws of physics. But visitors to New York City’s West Chelsea neighborhood might have another surprising building to admire in a few years—a ten-story residential high-rise built from wood. When completed, the building—the brainchild of New York-based SHoP Architects—will be the tallest building in the city to use structural timber to hold up its 10-story frame. But, if the timber industry, the United States Department of Agriculture, and a growing cadre of environmentally conscious architects and designers get their way, it will be far from the last—or the tallest—wooden structure to grace an American city’s skyline.

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Australia’s first CLT commercial building added to Barangaroo

By Nathan Johnson
Architecture and Design
June 20, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Lendlease will claim another first in Australian construction next year when it completes Australia’s first cross-laminated timber (CLT) commercial office building in Sydney.  To be called International House Sydney (IHS), the six-storey CLT and Glulam building will be located at the gateway to Lendlease’s multi-billion dollar Barangaroo development and will be the construction heavy weight’s third project in Australia that utilises the sustainable building material.  It’s been designed by Sydney architect Alec Tzannes, of Tzannes Associates and will feature a clear-glass skin, leaving the engineered timber, including 2000 m³ of CLT, in full exposure as floor frames, beams and columns.

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Forestry

Creating the Next Generation of Forest Inventory

Forsite Consultants
June 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Forsite Consultants and Object Raku Technology are pleased to announce a strategic partnership to deliver individual tree inventory solutions to our clients. Forsite has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Object Raku for their Timber Species Identifier (TSI) system of software components for Western Canada. The system allows specific log product volumes to be calculated directly from LiDAR data that is used to determine the location, species, height, and DBH of individual trees. This type of operational inventory data will allow forest companies to further realize return on investment (ROI) from LiDAR acquisitions through efficient targeting of specific log products – while trees on the stump over large geographic areas. 

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Event aims to curb wildfire risk

By Alyssa Noel
Whistler Question
June 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Association of Whistler Area Residents for the Environment (AWARE), in partnership with the Sea to Sky Clean Air Society, is hosting a climate symposium in hopes of curbing the risk of forest fires this summer. Our Future with Forest Fires, slated for Thursday (June 23) at the Maury Young Arts Centre, will include a panel of speakers who will discuss Whistler’s vulnerability to wildfires followed by an “Apres in Action,” in which participants will talk about concrete ways to help protect the area. “Communities around the globe are planning for climate change,” said Claire Ruddy, executive director for AWARE. “In Whistler and the Sea to Sky we know we can expect longer, hotter summers. As a community surrounded by dense second-growth forest, it makes us vulnerable.”

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Buses, trucks, cars all in action at Saratoga Speedway

Comox Valley Record
June 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

What’s the most redneck thing you have ever watched in racing? Boat racing? Trailer racing? This past weekend Saratoga Speedway may have topped you’re list as they presented the first-ever school bus race and logging truck rodeo on a very rainy Saturday night. …The logging truck rodeo featured two competitors. In the first stage the guys competed to see who could pull out an engine in a car first, with the win going to Dan who beat Richard by 13 seconds. The second stage they threw the cars they just pulled the engine out of as far as they could, with Richard beating Dan by just two feet. The final stage saw them once again throw their cars as they were trying to break the tie, but their first attempt ended in a tie once again, so one more throw was needed. Dan finally beat Richard, by close to 10 feet, to take home the title.

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Quesnel Mayor Calls For Quick Rehabilitation Of Forest

My Cariboo Now
June 17, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson is questioning the commitment that Canfor has to rehabilitate the land it gave to West Fraser in a license transfer a few years ago. Simpson was told at this week`s Joint Planning Committee meeting that while West Fraser got the timber, Canfor maintained the accrued obligation.  He fears that Quesnel is no longer a priority for Canfor because they are no longer here and their obligation will likely be in areas where they are still operating.  Simpson was told that however that Canfor would still have a legal obligation and that the Ministry could go after them with legislation but the Mayor still had his doubts.

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Arborist urges Toronto residents to call city about dying trees

City staff could assess trees by climbing them, but arborist says cost would be prohibitive
CBC News
June 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A Toronto arborist is urging members of the public to call the city if they see a tree in a poor health that could pose to a risk to any park visitors, after a man in his 30s was killed by a falling branch Friday in Trinity Bellwoods Park. Amy Turner said Monday that members of the public should call 311 if they have concerns. “The users are the ones who have a keen eye and who are there,” she told CBC News. “Obviously, they are not trained experts, but if you do happen to notice something that does concern you, you should absolutely make a call.” Turner said the city responds to calls made to 311.

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Province ignores information about possible mercury dumping ground: Star Investigation

The Toronto Star
June 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Ontario government has ignored startling information about a potentially dangerous mercury dumping site for seven months, a Star investigation has found. Saying he was writing out of “guilt,” a retired labourer says that more than 40 years ago he was part of a small crew that “haphazardly” dumped drums of mercury and salt into a pit near Grassy Narrows First Nation where water and fish have long been contaminated by the toxic metal. Residents have for years complained of serious illnesses consistent with mercury poisoning. An email written by Kas Glowacki went to the Grassy Narrows chief last August, who sent it to the environment ministry.

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Editorial: Forest plan weak on logging

The Porterville Recorder
June 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The U.S. Forest Service unveiled its plans for the Sequoia National Forest for the next 20 years and while an emphasis is being placed on forest health, the limits on logging are too severe to truly accomplish better forest health. In the massive documents which make up the draft Land Management Plan for Sequoia National Forest, timber harvesting is given limited attention when timber harvesting used to be a major component of the forest. However, if forest health is to be restored — one only has to drive up the mountain to see how unhealthy the forest is today — then timber cutting must be used, and not all at taxpayers’ expense. …However, of the 1.1 million acre forest, the plan finds only 125,379 acres which are suitable for timber production. That is just 11 percent of the forest area, but still probably too much for environmentalists.

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Forest Fires

Wildfire burning near Bayers Lake, Halifax Fire responding

Nearby businesses not threatened at this point by the 10-15 hectare fire, Halifax Fire says
CBC News
June 20, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency says the fire west of Bayers Lake was contained after 8:00 p.m. Monday evening. Crews have a wet line around the fire, but are not yet saying it is under control because the fire could still jump that line. Dave Meldrum, division chief with the fire department, said the call about the fire came in at about 3:45 p.m. Monday afternoon. By 6:30 p.m. Meldrum said there were about 25 firefighters in the woods working on the fire and another 20 firefighters are on standby. He said crews worked hard on the ground to get hose lines around the sides of the fire while the Department of Natural Resources helicopter dumped water on the head of the fire.

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Forest fire risk extreme in central, eastern P.E.I. due to winds

Burning permits invalid throughout the province due to fire risk
CBC News
June 20, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

After a few days of warm, dry weather, there’s a higher risk of forest fire in P.E.I. — with most areas of the Island east of Summerside classified as extreme under the forest fire weather index. “It is really a lot to do with the wind speeds that we’ve seen over the last couple of days,” said Mike Montigny, the manager of resource inventory with the province. “It’s drying and it’s also indicating if there is a fire that wind is really going to be a force and push that fire along really fast.” The Northeast and Central-Southeast districts both fall under the extreme rating. The Western district — which covers the area west of Summerside — is classified as high.

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Nova Scotia forest fire risk very high to extreme across province

Crews responding to brush fire in North Preston
CBC News
June 20, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada East, Canada

The sun and heat over the past few days have driven the forest fire index up to very high or extreme across Nova Scotia. This comes as firefighters were called on Monday to a brush fire in the Amos Walter Drive area of North Preston. The Department of Natural Resources is on the scene along with fire engines from Cole Harbour and Lake Echo, according to Phil McNulty, with Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency Services. “They’re working that fire right now,” he told CBC News Monday afternoon. A local resident told CBC News that crews appear to have the fire under control.

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New fires erupt in California as heatwave sears Southwest

Associated Press in the Chronicle Journal
June 20, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

LOS ANGELES – New wildfires erupted Monday near Los Angeles and chased people from their suburban homes as an intense heatwave stretching from the West Coast to New Mexico blistered the region. Towering columns of smoke rose from the San Gabriel Mountains as two fires burning less than 2 miles apart devoured brush on steep slopes above foothill suburbs. Police in the city of Azusa and parts of Duarte ordered several hundred homes evacuated. Others were under voluntary evacuations. “It’s crazy. It’s super close,” said 17-year-old Tawni Atencio, whose family was evacuating their home in Bradbury. …Temperatures surpassed 100 degrees across much of Southern California well before noon, while some desert cities sizzled in the 120s.

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Firefighters contain blaze in Santa Fe National Forest

The Santa Fe New Mexican
June 20, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

A wildfire scorched approximately three acres of the Santa Fe National Forest near Jemez Springs before crews contained the blaze Monday afternoon. Reported Sunday evening, the Battleship Fire burned an area of steep terrain with difficult access, thick with dead and down timber, ponderosa pine and Douglas fir, according to the U.S. Forest Service. In a statement, the Forest Service said crews worked overnight to build a perimeter, which held thanks to calm winds. Fifty-five firefighters were assigned to the blaze as of 11 a.m. Monday along with one engine, a helicopter and plane.

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Wildfires and deadly heat wave hit Southwest U.S.

Fires in Angeles National Forest expected to merge Monday night
CNN in WVTM13
June 20, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West


A handful of raging wildfires have also popped up in New Mexico, California and Arizona. The fatalities were all in Arizona, but temperatures of 120 degrees will be possible in the desert Southwest early this week, the National Weather Service reported. On Monday a new fire, dubbed the “Reservoir Fire,” quickly grew and now along with an adjoining fire has consumed 3,500 acres in the Angeles National Forest outside Los Angeles. The blaze sent enormous plumes of smoke into the sky while being battled by the Los Angeles County Fire Department and the U.S. Forest Service. The two fires are expected to merge Monday night and authorities have dedicated 350 personnel on the ground and aircraft to fight the flames, which so far have not moved toward houses.

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Firefighter dies during battle with huge Cyprus forest fire

Associated Press in the Kathimerini
June 20, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

A firefighter died Monday after being crushed when his truck overturned as he tackled a large forest fire that continues to rage out of control on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, so far scorching 15 square kilometers (5.8 square miles) of trees and countryside. President Nicos Anastasiades said in a written statement that he was devastated at the news that Andreas Sophocleous succumbed to injuries and two other firefighters who were in the vehicle were seriously hurt. Another firefighter remains in critical but stable condition after suffering head injuries when his vehicle overturned in a gully in an earlier accident, while his colleague sustained a broken arm.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Biomass business case for managing wildfires

Wood Business
June 17, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canadian wildfire prevention teams are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to manage wildfires with limited budgets. One speaker during the panel sessions at the International Bioenergy Conference and Exhibition in Prince George, B.C. put forth an interesting strategy that also has the potential to provide an economic stimulus for the region while servicing home heating needs for people in northern B.C. David Dubois, chief of engineering and technical outreach specialist for the Community Energy Association, told the crowd that there is great potential for local managing of high-risk wildfire areas in northern B.C. communities while simultaneously harvesting biomass in a sustainable manner for use in residential heating.

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Central Highlands carbon storage worth more than logging

By Josh Gordon
The Age Australia
June 20, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Victoria’s Central Highlands’ forests would potentially generate more income for the state if they were permanently preserved to store carbon rather than logged, according to a major study. A detailed analysis using a United Nations’ system of environmental and economic accounting concludes the net economic contribution from forestry in the area is relatively minor compared to the contribution to the state’s water supply, tourism and farming. The analysis, by a team of environmental accountants, economists and scientists, from the Australian National University’s Fenner? School of Environment and Society, found native forestry in the central highlands generated $29 of additional net economic activity per hectare in 2013-14. That compares to a $2023 per hectare contribution to the state’s water supply, a $2667 per hectare contribution to agriculture and $353 per hectare from tourism.

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